TUESDAY, Oct. 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Fall is a great time to get your four-legged friends outdoors, but there are some potential hazards for your pets linked to the changing seasons.
Pet owners should be aware of the following risks and take steps to help keep their animals safe, the ASPCA says:
- Rodent poison. More homeowners use rat and mouse poisons in the fall as these rodents try to move indoors to stay warm. These poisons are also toxic to pets and could be fatal. People who use rodenticides should keep these poisons in an area that is inaccessible to pets.
- Mushrooms. While most mushrooms are harmless, around 1 percent are highly toxic and potentially deadly for pets. It's very difficult to tell the difference between toxic and nontoxic mushrooms. The ASPCA advises pet owners to keep pets away from areas where mushrooms grow.
- Snakes. Pets' risk of snake bites is higher in the fall as snakes prepare for hibernation. Pet owners should be aware of the types of snakes that live nearby and be sure to keep their pets away from areas where these reptiles may be lurking.
- Engine coolants. Antifreeze is highly toxic to pets. Spills involving ethylene glycol-based coolants should be cleaned up right away to prevent pets from licking them up. Pet owners may also want to consider using less toxic propylene glycol-based coolants.
- School supplies. As school moves into high gear, kids tend to stock up on items such as glue sticks, pencils and magic markers. These items aren't highly toxic to pets, but they could cause digestive problems if ingested by animals. Be sure to keep all school supplies packed away and out of animals' reach.
The Humane Society provides more tips on how to protect your pet in cold weather.